Summer is here and fishing season is in full force. If you’re headed to South Carolina or any of its beautiful islands for a fishing trip, here are five tips to help you get the most out of your adventure.
Make a List Before You Begin
Making a packing list will efficiently and effectively prepare you for your trip and ensure nothing is left behind. Keep a hard copy with you to reference when you re-pack for your return. Keep an electronic copy that can be edited with adjustments to be used again for future fishing trips.
Bring Water-Resistant Electronics
Not only will you be near (or in) a body of water, but South Carolina is extremely humid with the ever-constant chance of rain. Investing in water-resistant electronics will keep you at ease but still connected throughout your trip. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a water-resistant smartphone that keeps you in touch with others and provides navigation. With it you could also access fishing apps such as My Fishing Forecast, Trimble GPS Fish and Fish Rules.
Portable waterproof Bluetooth speakers will provide you and your crew epic background music when you’re hung with a big fish. Documenting your trip and the different species you catch is much easier with a waterproof camera. You don’t have to worry about the camera getting covered with blood, sea water, fish guts or bait because it simply washes away with fresh water at the end of the day.
Pack for the Weather
Summertime in South Carolina is hot and humid. June, July and August usually record high temps in the 80s with low temps in the 70s and the occasional summer shower. When packing, consider proper sun protection and materials that dry quickly. Your shirt should be sun-protective with an ultraviolet protection factor rating against both UVA and UVB rays. Most importantly, it should be breathable, lightweight and moisture-wicking. Nylon and polyester are usually the fabric of choice in the summer.
Insects are also rampant in South Carolina, especially at night, and material that has an insect shield built-in or is treated with permethrin gives you extra protection from pesky mosquitoes. You should avoid denim at all costs since it doesn’t dry quickly and does not keep you cool. Also consider a protective hat, 100 percent polarized sun glasses and a face mask or buff to provide extra protection for your face from the sun.
Remember Your Fishing License & Registration
Anytime you explore new fishing grounds, read up on the rules and regulations and have your fishing license prepared. Fishing licenses can be purchased online from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website or over the phone. The state offers an annual, three-year or lifetime license if you’ll be a frequent visitor. To follow the fishing laws and regulations, familiarize yourself with the different species of fish you will find and the specific length limits and bag limits that apply to each species.
Have Appropriate Fishing Gear
Summer fishing in South Carolina is a potpourri of species. The warm ocean currents bring reds, specks, flounders, black drum, bluefish, mackerel, ladyfish, jacks and tarpon following the bait fish. It’s useful to know what’s biting and where, what they are hitting and how you fish it. For example, if you’re targeting reds, there are many different techniques to hooking them. You could pack a light spinning tackle, a fly rod or use live bait. Being prepared to catch your target species will save you a visit to the bait and tackle shop on your trip and give you more time on the stream.